Twilight Times Special Feature


Practical Tips for Online Authors


Lida E. Quillen



As publisher of an ezine and owner of an epublishing house, I am enthusiastic about writing opportunities on the web. In upcoming columns, I will give you info on various writer email lists, genre specific sites, online communities, paying markets, professional organizations and sites of general interest along with advice on writing and publishing.

New authors just like you are building their writing careers solely on the internet (aka The Internet) every day. In "Practical Tips for Online Authors," you'll find listings of writers' groups for support and critiques, you'll learn how to submit stories to ezines in order to polish your craft, send submissions via email and locate an epublisher for your first novel.

For published authors, I will also cover more advanced publishing methods such as how to create an email newsletter or on-line magazine (ezine), how to build your own author web site from the ground up and how to self-publish your novels.

Who am I and why am I writing yet another column on getting published on the internet? I am a writer just like you, an editor, a publisher and web page designer.

My writing career was progressing nicely until I discovered the internet in October 1997. Since that time I have come up with new and creative ways to procrastinate about writing. First, I had to build three personal web sites. Then, I thought a couple of virtual domains would be nice. Next came an ezine, Twilight Times (TT ezine), and finally Twilight Times Books (TT Books).

It has been great fun to see the results of my imagination and creativity in the form of various web sites unfold on the internet. I could put together the artwork, text, html code and music in a fairly short period of time and have a lovely finished "product." On some level, immediate gratification appealed to me perhaps, as opposed to the long months and years that can pass between the creation of a novel and the time the book sees print.

When I took a break from building web sites, I kept meeting talented, yet unpublished or underpublished authors on various email lists. I could feel their anguish and frustration at not being able to break into print. I decided to do something about it and created Twilight Times ezine to showcase beginning writers. The ninth issue recently went on-line. Each week I still receive stories from unpublished writers. Most submissions are great stories that deserve to see print, but new writers cannot seem to break into the print markets. For these writers, I offer advice on how to get their stories published online.

In the Epublishing forum at Scribes, writers ask questions such as -- "how can I get published," "which epublishing house should I choose," "how can I best promote and market my first novel," etc. The people asking these questions are authors who have written good books, but simply cannot break into the novel markets. Most of these authors prefer to write cross-genre fiction, which the NYC publishers do not seem to know how to market. In "Practical Tips for Online Authors," I will answer these questions and more based on my own experiences.


Web Sites

The following web sites are recommended for semi-pro writers:

**** is a wonderful place to hang out - a true community of fantasy artists, writers and poets. A professional-looking member page, contests, a fun-filled Friday night Poetry Slam (I had a ball here), lots of resources and networking. This is not a place for beginners. Only serious "artistes" need apply.

*** E-Book Community at Open discussion on the electronic publishing industry and the business side of writing. Formerly

**** Lida's Online-Authors email list is a group of e-pubbed authors, writers hoping to become e-pubbed and those supportive of e-publishing.

Web site:

**** Fantasy Today is the emaillist of the Internet Fantasy Writer's Association. Comprehensive web site with learning centers, a writer's email list, an online magazine and soon a publishing house. This site is evolving into a real online community.

**** Scribes World is best known for their book review service, but they are expanding their horizons:
"Due to popular demand, Scribes World now offers author interviews in addition to our great book review service. . . . Scribes World is a place where readers and writers can get together. The message boards will soon be completed revamped and open for your input. We want to be a place where people can come to find answers and feel at home. Considering becoming a resident. Details at our web site."

**** Word Weaving -- articles, columns, reviews and a newsletter. Very friendly folks.


Here are a few web sites of benefit to beginning writers:

*** Black on White

**** NetAuthor -- also has a chat room and a web site. Very friendly to new writers.

*** The Writer's Corner -- a support group. Good place for beginners

*** Writing Chat -- The virtual coffee shop (a writer's email list. Social as well as writing issues)



Note: "Intro and web sites" is an excerpt from the Forward to Practical Tips for Online Authors published by Twilight Times Books. Copyright 2000 Lida E. Quillen. Re-printed by permission of the author.

  Additional columns periodically.




  About the author

Lida E. Quillen is the author of a non-fiction book, Practical Tips for Online Authors

Owner/Publisher of Twilight Times Publications

Pubisher of the eBook Ecstasy newsletter.

Moderator of online authors email list

Member of Phenomenal Women of the Web.





Copyright © 2000 Lida E. Quillen. All rights reserved.


This page last updated 01-02-02.

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